Northern Ireland

Weekly papers: Farewells to a legendary priest and name row

Newry Reporter front page Image copyright Newry Reporter
Tyrone Constitution Image copyright Tyrone Constitution
Strabane Image copyright Strabane Weekly

The Fermanagh Herald has given over its front page to a man worthy of the honour.

The paper's Facebook page has been "inundated" with good wishes for Fr Brian D'Arcy.

"Thanks for the memories," says Fr D'Arcy, who is leaving his native Bellanaleck to take up a new position in County Down.

As well as being a parish priest, the 72-year-old is well known for his media appearances and his radio show.

He tells the paper that it's the "people of Fermanagh" he will miss most, from all sections of the community.

"You only get so many years in one place and my time in Enniskillen has been stretched out for as long as possible.

"I'm not fully prepared to leave and will be heartbroken to do so. If the Graan (his current parochial home) is still here when I die it's where I want to be buried," said Fr D'Arcy.

Image caption Fr Brian D'Arcy pictured with presenter Chris Evans in 2012 is a regular contributor to TV and radio as well as being a full time priest

'A rose by any other name?'

Also in the paper, what's in a name?

Since the new Castle Basin Promenade in Enniskillen was completed in 2015, there had been calls to give the area its "proper" name "The Broad Meadows", instead of "Broadmeadows" as it is currently named.

It may seem like a minor difference, but, according to some locals, a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet.

Fred Ternan of Lough Erne Heritage said the addition of an "s" is incorrect and "that's the height of it".

His argument is that, living in a historical town, it is important to keep facts right and not "tweak" little things. "Otherwise we could lose the whole story eventually," he says.

A compelling argument Fred, however, Waterways Ireland has robustly responded to the criticism.

They said that their search of the Public Record Northern Ireland (PRONI) maps shows the place name has "varied over the years from Broadmeadows and Broad Meadow".

Craigavon is to get a new state of the art leisure centre, according to the Lurgan Mail.

The Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough council (ABC) has signed off plans for the £30m project.

The target date is 2020 - and the paper says it is the "biggest capital project" ever undertaken by the local authority.

"I'm delighted to say that we've agreed a new interior design for the leisure centre," said Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson.

"It's a very ambitious build and represents many months of planning, extensive consultation, revisions and further consultation."

'Great Escape?'

A Ballymena woman has been hoisted by her own petard in an escape attempt from police, reports the Larne Times.

Police officers paid Kelly McKee 25, a visit to her Hill Street home when she failed to appear at Ballymena Magistrates' Court last month.

McKee, however, attempted to flee through a fire escape and in doing so, managed to break her ankle.

She then appeared in court on crutches.

Will it be full steam ahead for a new ferry route from Larne? The paper reports that plans are afoot for just that.

The paper reports that the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is considering a move from Belfast to the local port and confirmed that "berthing tests" have already taken place.

Now the company wants to know what people think and have put the idea out to public consultation.

Hay bears

There's a hay phenomenon on the Tyrone Constitution's front page.

Two giant teddy bear hay bales adorn the front page. They are so big they've got about six children sitting on the arms and knees of the bears.

They are part of the Teddy Bears' Picnic-themed annual festival in Newtonstewart which is taking place at the end of August.

Image copyright OPYRIGHT KENNETH ALLEN/GEOGRAPH
Image caption Forest walk, Knockmany, Augher

The paper also reports that after "years of lobbying" a popular beauty spot in the Valley may receive some funding to transform the area.

Knockmany Forest four miles outside the village of Augher, which contains the historical Anya's Tomb, is described as in a "somewhat neglected state".

The paper reports that the area is "wildly overgrown" and a lake which has potential remains "inaccessible".

Mid Ulster council confirmed that Eskra Community Association is "seeking funding from Sport NI, having satisfied the initial qualification".

The proposal includes improved recreational access and paths together with visitor facilities.

There's a master craftsman on the front of the Strabane Weekly.

Harness maker Gordon Colhoun, from Sion Mills, threads flax into the leather with "utmost precision".

He is one of the few harness makers still working in Ireland and tells the paper he fears traditional skills like this are at risk of being lost.

The paper also reports on a man from Strabane who's no stranger to success.

Athletics coach, Stephen Maguire, steered the Great Britain relay team to a stunning 4 x 100m gold at the World Championships in London on Saturday.

Stephen also coached Ireland's Paralympics star Jason Smyth for many years.

Brexit plans for the border lead the front page of the Newry Reporter, where many locals cross the border daily.

The paper reports on the UK proposals that there could be CCTV vehicle registration and technology instead of old fashioned customs posts.

However, a Newry-based anti-Brexit campaigner warned that such plans would be "almost impossible to police".

Tom Kelly, who chaired the campaign group NI Stronger In Europe, said: "I think the British government will try to get away with some technology border with cameras and registration recognition and so on.

"The problem with this is that you have to put them up along the border and with 400 routes along the border, it's going to be pretty hard to police. "

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Part of the Great Wall of China

Also in the paper - a local man who's heading east,.

Graham McCamley, who has trekked all around the world raising money for different charities, is taking on the Great Wall of China to raise money for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

The paper reports that Graham has also raised £12,000 for Action Cancer through previous treks in Egypt, the Grand Canyon, Cuba, the Sahara Desert and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Graham sets off on his latest adventure in September and will walk between 25-30 miles each day, camping on the wall on some nights, and staying in nearby villages other nights.

"It's going to be a challenge, but I am looking forward to it," said Graham.